Awards for Artists
Image of Becky Beasley
Photo credit: Emile Holba. Location: Bottle Alley, Hastings.

Becky Beasley

Becky Beasley (born 1975) is a Hastings-based artist who works in sculpture, installation and photography to delve into the ambiguities and essential opacity of human experience. Key to her working processes is the idea of burrowing: a digressive and exploratory practice focusing on everyday moments of intensity and private revelation.

From these moments, she slowly produces objects, images and environments that make perceptual that which is often at the limit of language: the overlooked, the minor or the silenced. Beasley’s endeavour has a quiet political charge, hopeful of enabling human beings to relate to one another in deeply private experiences of life and otherness, perhaps otherwise indescribable.

Over the past decade, she has developed a literary or virtual way of working, finding inspiration in various forms of literature, from Herman Melville’s short stories to Laurence Sterne’s stream-of-consciousness novel Tristram Shandy. Central to this approach has been an investigation into the question of manifesting ‘the image’ out of the literary, which is for her an essentially non-visual, ‘imageless’ genre.

Solo exhibitions and performances include Plan B Gallery, Berlin; 80WSE Gallery, New York; Towner Gallery, Eastbourne; SKUC Public Gallery, Ljubljana; South London Gallery, London; Leeds City Gallery, Leeds; Spike Island, Bristol; Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, London and Tate Britain, London. In 2018 Beasley published her writing, ‘Two Plants in a Dip’, through the Artists’ Research Centre (ARC) Writers’ programme. The text weaves together a weekend spent in Southend with her mother with her relationship with alien plant expert, Eric Clement, reflecting on the future through maternal love, friendship and botany.

The award came at a huge crossroads moment for me and allows me to freely take the fork I most wanted for my work and life. I believe the award came now because of my inability to give up or compromise against the odds, particularly since the birth of my son four years ago. My mental health difficulties have been my greatest adversary and my greatest strength. The award is utterly empowering at this newly mid-career moment.

Examples of work

The Seat Cushion (A Mourning Joke), 2017

The Seat Cushion (A Mourning Joke), 2017

Room-sized installation with handmade upholstered armchair, 6 framed cyanotype seat cushions, archival digital print and text. Dimensions variable. Towner Gallery, Eastbourne, 2017.

Late Winter Light, 2018

Late Winter Light, 2018

Cyanotype photographs on vintage French bed linen, velvet ottoman, men’s watch, reading glasses. Exhibition installation view including Spring Equinox (Morning Floorboards) and Spring Equinox (Afternoon Floorboards). Francesca Minini Gallery, Milan, 2018.

Interior (Day), 2017

Interior (Day), 2017

Room-sized installation with linoleum, powder-coated steel tubes wall sculpture, and The Bedhead (1939), a reframed watercolour by Eric Ravilious courtesy of Towner Collection. Dimensions variable. Towner Gallery, Eastbourne, 2017.

A Gentle Man, 2017

A Gentle Man, 2017

Installation view of ‘A Gentle Man’ exhibition, including Evening, Interior Night, Exterior (Spring Rain) and Kissing Benches. 80WSE Gallery, New York, 2017.